Doctors cry foul over post freeze
19 December 2016
DOCTORS affiliated to the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association have expressed dismay over government’s freeze on doctors’ posts.
The move has since been received with outcry since it will leave several doctors unemployed after completing their two-year internship.
While, regional and international standards require that a doctor goes through two years of internship after completing their studies, local authorities added another year in order to curb brain drain. The third year was to be completed at a rural hospital but all posts in district hospitals have since been filled up.
Speaking to H-Metro, the organization’s secretary general, Alois Muzvaba expressed displeasure at the move.
“Government is saying they cannot employ doctors anymore and this a blow to the doctors.
“As we speak hospitals are already understaffed but ironically government is saying they cannot employ.
The Medical and Dental Practitioners council will not release practicing licenses for our members until they secure employment with the government.”
According to Muzvaba, understaffing at hospitals is not the problem of doctors but government’s since they have not increased the healthcare establishment, which has remained the same since 1980.
“Doctors go for internship of three years now and one will get the OPC when one gets somewhere to work but if you don’t have anywhere to work then they won’t release the OPC.
“We need them to release our OPCs so we can get employment in private sector or even outside the country.
“You can’t even go anywhere because they will be holding that OPC and once the posts are filled it’s a done deal, there will be no room for others and right now all the current posts are filled.”
Muzvaba also said:
“Since 1980 the establishment of hospitals hasn’t changed much and the population is growing rapidly thereby hospitals are understaffed. Zimbabwe has the poorest Doctor to patient ratio in the region and the lowest paid healthcare.
“Hospital standards have gone down and the national budget allocation to health is way below the 15 percent stated in the Abuja declaration.”
Efforts to get a comment from relevant authorities were fruitless as their mobile numbers were not answered.